How to Get Better Grades This Semester

It's the start of a new semester, which means another chance to improve your GPA. My personal school motto is "start the semester strong" that way if your grades slip as the content becomes more difficult, you'll still have a good grade in the end. With that being said, here are a few tips that I use to maintain good grades (even in really difficult classes). 

1) Take Notes in Class
Sounds like a no-brainer, but I have a lot of friends that don't take notes in class and then have to re-read all the slides from class before a test. Taking notes in class will save you time when you're studying for tests and it'll make sure that you remember important things your professor said that might not be in their slides. The way you take notes is also important. Science has shown that taking notes by hand is better, but do whatever feels best for you. 

2) Make Friends
I love having friends in my classes for many reasons. They're your built in study group, they save you seats when you're running late, and if you miss a class, you have reliable notes. Me and my friends often make bets about tests (if I get an A and you don't you need to buy me coffee or something along those lines), which also adds another layer of motivation and accountability. 

3) Read the Book
There have been classes where reading isn't necessary, but for classes that are content heavy, with professors that don't cover everything fully, or that are for difficult subjects, reading is important. I've gotten in the habit of pre-reading the book chapters and lecture notes before class and taking notes on it so when I'm sitting in lecture all I have to do is focus on what the professor is saying. It's definitely more work, but helps immensely. 

4) Office Hours
Utilize campus resources whether that's with the math center, peer tutoring, or office hours. Get the help you need early because most math and science courses build during the semester and only get harder. 

5) Stay Organized
The second you get your class syllabus, input all the important dates into your planner or calendar. Also get folders for each class and notebooks (I like to color coordinate mine so I have different colors for different subjects). I like to keep a running list of things I need to read near my desk as well. Use whatever system works best for you, whether that's an electronic calendar or a print one, but make sure you keep yourself organized so you aren't taken by surprise when an assignment is due. 

Let me know in the comments what your tips are for getting good grades in college! I also want to know if you try these tips out and if they work for you! 


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